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Singapore launches Construction of International Cruise Terminal

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Singapore has taken a step closer to becoming the most advanced cruise hub in the region with a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction of its International Cruise Terminal (ICT).

To be completed by the end of 2011, the International Cruise Terminal ICT will double Singapores berth capacity and enable more cruise ships to homeport and call on Singapore and Asia. With the ICTs deep waters, a large turning basin and lack of height restrictions, the worlds largest ships, such as the Oasis- class ships being built now, will be able to call at Singapore and enjoy dedicated cruise terminal facilities. It will complement the existing Singapore Cruise Centre at the Southern Waterfront precinct.

Singapores first purpose-built cruise terminal has been designed to ensure smooth and seamless accessibility for both passengers and cruise ships, to achieve quick passenger turnaround of 30 minutes from the point of disembarkation to the point of departure from the terminal. Its state-of-the-art functional capabilities and distinctive nautical-themed architecture harmonises with the terminals functions and settings to enhance the sense of arrival for cruise passengers, and will add to the architectural gems of the Singapore skyline in the Marina Bay area.

The new terminal is expected to meet the projected growth of the Asia Pacific cruise industry, which constitutes about 7% of the worlds cruise market today. The region continues to be a vital source of cruise passengers as well as an exotic and desirable destination for avid cruise passengers from the Western markets.

Asia, with its year-round tropical climate, varied landscapes, warm hospitality and multi-cultural appeal, fueled by the growth of low cost carriers and the traffic that they generate, is fast becoming the new cruise playground. The worlds top cruise players are increasing their presence in Asia and offering more cruises with Asian itineraries.

Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, highlighted the growth potential of Singapores cruise industry, Singapores cruise passenger throughput has grown steadily, registering a healthy average annual growth rate of 12% between 2003 and 2008. The industry has remained resilient amid the economic downturn, evident in the 20% growth in arrivals in the first half of this year against the same period last year. The STB targets to attract 1.6 million cruise passengers by 2015.

According to the Singapore Cruise Centre, more than 1,000 ships called last year, contributing to a passenger throughput of over 920,000. The majority of these passengers were from Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe - demonstrating Singapores international appeal as a cruise destination. The first half of 2009 saw 540,000 cruise arrivals and it is projected that Singapore will welcome its one-millionth cruise passenger by year end.

The ICT was designed by internationally-renowned architects, Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, Inc. (BA) and RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd. JTC Corporation, the leading agency in industrial development, was appointed as the Development Agent of the ICT.

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